On the weekend of November 9-10, faculty members of Rock The School Bells (RTSB) and Center for Innovative Practices through Hip Hop Education and Research (CIPHER) of Skyline College were in attendance for the 3rd Annual Hip Hop Think Tank at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, NY. The RSTB and CIPHER team were comprised of counselors, professors, and staff members from Skyline College, American River College, Sacramento City College, and CSU-Sacramento.

The theme of this year’s Hip Hop Think Tank was titled: Legacy Building! Cultivating A Global Cipher from the Streets to the Classrooms. Nate Nevado and Nathan Jones presented on Rock The School Bells, our work with CIPHER, and Hip Hop pedagogies utilized in our classrooms. Through our presentation, we were able to meet amazing and dynamic individuals who are doing similar work within the field of Hip Hop education. Some workshops and presentations to note include: “Therapeutic and Educational Implications of Beatmaking in the School and Community Settings”(Oakland, CA), “Digital Linoleum: Empowering Youth through Hip Hop Digital Publishing” (Stanford University), and “Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity (Oakland, CA).”RTSBgroup

With this additional knowledge and best practices, we plan on developing a West Coast Hip Hop Educational Think Tank to continue the dialogue in integrating Hip Hop pedagogies in higher institutions. We also plan to create an educational workshop strand for educators, teachers, and counselors for our upcoming Rock The School Bells Hip Hop Conference on March 1, 2014.

RTSB_ThinkTankIn his presentation titled, “Youth Culture and Educational Engagement: Bridging the Divide to Close the Gap,” Dr. Pedro Noguera posed the question, “How are institutions of higher education contributing and shaping the field of Hip Hop education?” Through the generous funding of the President’s Innovation Fund and the support from Skyline College’s faculty and administration, we can begin to contribute to this field of cultural relevancy through Hip Hop. Education.

For more information on Rock The School Bells and/or CIPHER, please contact Nate Nevado at nevadon@smccd.edu or check our websites at www.rocktheschoolbells.com and www.skylinecollege.edu/cipher.

Article submitted by Nate Nevado, Photos by Melanie Espinueva, Nathan Jones, & Nate Nevado.